Al Qaeda’s Misdirection and Confusion

“Good intelligence on a suspect’s location today most likely means a vacated house tomorrow, and possibly a family in Iraq just thankful that they survived the night with the terrorists in their home.”

By Randy Taylor Senior Independent Analyst
rtaylor@homelandsecurityus.com

17 June 2006: You have all most likely watched the conflicting reports on speculation of who the actual leader is now of al Qaeda in Iraq. The immediate speculation was that Abu Ayub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajer (the immigrant, the Egyptian) was the new leader. As of yesterday, based on a tape released by the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) the new leader may actually be Abu Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, who supposedly issued a statement read by Omar Ad-Dulaymi, press spokesman for the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq, the contents of which were contained in an audio that was posted on AQ terrorist forums yesterday.The truth of the matter is that we do not know who the new leader is. The truth of the matter is that we may not know for quite some time. We just killed their leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi because:

(1) we knew who he was;

(2) we knew what he looked like; and

(3) we had good intelligence as to his exact whereabouts. It is very unlikely that al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers would release anything truthful or factual about the new leader in Iraq. The beauty of this confusion is the confusion is also extended down to al Qaeda “soldiers” - or more aptly termed, terrorists - who are not in the know, or the inner circle.

In my professional analysis, I offer this as “the bottom line:” There will be no lack of eligible candidates for the newly vacated position as leader of MSC and al Qaeda in Iraq. I would not let this lack of credible information disappoint you and I certainly would not entertain any thoughts that we aren’t doing a good job in Iraq on hunting these people down. The process of collecting good intelligence data on any subject(s) takes a considerable amount of time and effort, especially when the subject isn’t in plain sight and can blend within the population quite easily. These terrorist groups are quite adept at intimidating the population into not talking and are constantly on the move. Good intelligence on a suspect’s location today most likely means a vacated house tomorrow, and possibly a family in Iraq just thankful that they survived the night with the terrorists in their home.

The US Military did, in fact, find Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and, in fact, eliminated the terrorist in his hideout for that night. They will find out who the new leader is and they will either arrest or eliminate him as well. It will take time, so be patient.

On our end, we will continue to conduct surveillance of a wide variety of forums and monitor films and documents posted in various locations on the Internet. Sooner or later, the identity of actual leader will be made known and fully confirmed. The one thing that will be the downfall of all terrorist groups is their love of notoriety and their love of the camera.

Remember, pride goeth before the fall.

As far as the media and politicians statements about crushing al Qaeda in Iraq, the reality is that we will not crush al Qaeda in Iraq or anywhere else. Al Qaeda is much more than a group of terrorists; al Qaeda is now a world-wide movement. There are elements of al Qaeda here in the United States and we haven’t “crushed” them here, so it’s unlikely we will crush them in Iraq. We can, however, seriously impede their capabilities to operate, but we will never eradicate the collectivism of the al Qaeda element. As long as there is Islam, there will be al Qaeda ideology. I don’t see Islam leaving anytime soon.

Be well, stay vigilant. Support our troops.

June 17, 2006

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